Phil Jones in World Cup injury scare – how much of a blow for England?

Phil Jones crop

The Manchester United defender faces a race against time to be fit for the tournament in Brazil after picking up an injury last night against Hull.

With the World Cup just over a month away, players potentially set to head to Brazil will be crossing their fingers that they do not pick up injuries in the remaining club games this season.

One man that faces a race against time to be fit for the tournament is Phil Jones, who picked up an injury in Manchester United’s win over Hull on Tuesday night.

However, if the former Blackburn defender is ruled out of consideration, how much of a blow is it to England?

In a season of few positives at club level, Jones’ form has been lukewarm. Although the stats suggest that he has outperformed Nemanja Vidic this season, the commanding defender has not been consistent enough to fully convince that he is ready to start for England.

Looking at the England back four, Roy Hodgson is likely to partner Chelsea’s Gary Cahill with Everton’s Phil Jagielka; a pairing that did well in the qualifying campaign for the Three Lions.

However, behind this duo there is not an abundance of strength in depth, with Jones most likely next in line to play if either of the first-choice players were unavailable.

Jones’ versatility has been both a gift and a curse for him at club level, with the ex-Blackburn man filling in at right-back and in defensive midfield on plenty of occasions for United.

Although there will be other central defenders able to take Jones’ place should he not be available, the absence of someone like the United man that can cover a number of positions could be a blow.

Realistically Jones will be selected in the squad if fit but is unlikely to start. Although he can be replaced, his versatility could well be the biggest thing that Hodgson will rue if he is not fit to travel.

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